Senior stats: How do seniors measure up?



Senior Corps: More than 8,100 seniors in Utah contribute their time and talents in one of three programs: Foster Grandparents, who serve one-on-one with more than 5,000 young people who have special needs; Senior Companions, who help more than 1,300 other seniors live independently in their homes; and RSVP volunteers, who work with more than 600 local groups to meet a wide range of community needs.

The older population (65+) numbered 35 million in 2000 (the most recent year for which data is available), an increase of 3.7 million or 12% since 1990.

The number of Americans aged 45-64 – the “baby boomers” who will reach 65 over the next two decades – increased by 34% during the past decade.

About 1 in every 8, or 12.4 percent, of the population is an older American (65+).

Over 2 million people celebrated their 65th birthday in 2000 (5,574 per day).

People reaching age 65 have an average life expectancy of an additional 17.89 years (19.2 years for females and 16.30 years for males).

Older women (65+) outnumber older men at 20.6 million older women to 14.4 million older men.

About 30% (9.7 million) noninstitutionalized older persons live alone (7.4 million women, 2.4 million men).


Half of women age 75+ live alone.


Almost 400,000 grandparents aged 65 or higher had the primary responsibility for their grandchildren who lived with them.


By the year 2030, the older population will more than double to about 70 million.

Members of minority groups are projected to represent 25% of the older population in 2030, up from 16 percent in 2000.


The median income of older persons in 2001 was $19,688 for males and $11,313 for females. Real median income (after adjusting for inflation) fell by 2.6% for older people since 2000.

The Social Security Administration reports that the major sources of income for older people are

• Social Security (reported by 90% of older persons)

• Income from assets (reported by 59%)

• Public and private pensions (reported by 41%), and earnings (reported by 22%).


About 3.4 million older persons lived below the poverty level in 2001. The poverty rate for persons 65+ continued at a historically low rate of 10.1%. Another 2.2 million older adults were classified as “near poor” (income between poverty level and 125% of this level).


The 2001 Census Bureau estimated that there were more than 48,427 individuals over 100. The United Nations estimates that in 2000, there were 180,000 centenarians throughout the world. By 2050, this number is projected to number 3.2 million.



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